This unique brussels sprouts salad combines Asian flavors with crispy brussels, crunchy wonton strips and toasted garlic for the ultimate warm and cozy cool-weather side dish!
The inspiration for this salad comes from a restaurant in Chicago called Mad Social. It's a cool little neighborhood place run by the daughter of a well know Chicago restauranteur and the menu is really quite interesting. Like many of the recipes I create, I tried this dish one time when I was there with a friend and immediately knew I need to create a version of it for the blog.
As you've probably noticed by know by now, veggies are not exactly my favorite food - I know I'm not alone here, right??! For a long time brussels were on the list of things I just wouldn't eat but then it all changed when I had them raw and which resulted in creating this super yummy Brussels Sprouts salad. From there I learned that you slice them really thin and cook them at high heat to make them nice and crispy they are actually pretty good!
This salad gives you nice, crispy sprouts combined with whirls of red cabbage and slivers of raw carrots for good color and contrasting flavor. They are tossed in the most amazing sweet and spicy Asian sauce. The vibrant flavors make it almost impossible to stop eating this salad!
How do I get brussels sprouts crisp in the oven?
There are a few key steps to take to make sure that your brussels sprouts come out of the oven browned and crisp every time.
- Cut your sprouts: One of the most important aspects of crispy Brussels sprouts is to make sure they have some surface area to brown. This means cutting the sprouts into smaller pieces. I recommend cutting them into thin slices for this recipes, however, if you prefer them a little less crispy then cut them into quarters.
- Give them some room: In order for any roasted vegetable to get crisp you need to leave some space on the sheet pan between each piece. You want everything in a single layer, with some space in between. This ensures the veggies roast instead of steam.
- Use enough oil: It is really hard to get a crispy sprout using cooking spray. You need some oil to coat the sprouts. However, you don't want to drown the sprouts in oil either. Too much oil can cause them to burn. The key is getting all the Brussel sprouts lightly coated with oil before you start cooking them.
- Turn up the heat: Without high heat, your Brussels sprouts won't get crispy. The oven should be between 425-450 degrees. Hotter than that and they are likely to burn and lower than that and probably will not crisp up and brown. You can also pre-heat your sheet pan while you are preheating the oven. The spouts start to crisp up as soon as you add them to the pan.
Crispy Wonton Strips - Baked Instead of Fried
While you often see wontons fried, since the wrappers are so thin they are really easy to get crispy by simply baking them in a hot oven. Much like veggies, the key to getting wontons crisp is to spread them in a single layer so they brown evenly. Since you'll have a whole package of wonton wrappers you might want to make some extra strips as they are great for adding a little extra crunch to salads. Or give these Wonton Taco Cups a try - they are great for parties.
Meal Prep Tips
Most of the meal prep for this dish comes in the form of chopping and slicing veggies ahead of time. You can slice the brussels, cabbage and carrots a day or two in advance and store in the refrigerator until are you ready to cook.
You can also make the dressing in advance. This is a good dressing to have on hand for salads during the week so you may want to make a double batch so you have some leftover. It's the same dressing that goes on this Asian Quinoa Salad, which also uses red cabbage so I often make both of these dishes in the same week so I can streamline my prep!
Things You Might Want for this Recipe
Julienne Peeler – I especially like this kitchen tool if you don't have a mandoline. It's great for creating thin strips of veggies for topping salads and adding to sandwiches.
Small Mason Jars – I love using these little mason jars to make a couple of different kinds of salad dressing each week. I also think they are super useful for storing leftover sauces and anything that is liquid. They are also great for individual servings of desserts! You can probably find them in a smaller quantity at a local Target or I've also seen them at my local Whole Foods. I'd suggest you buy 2-4 of them as you'll find plenty of ways to use them!
Crispy Asian Brussels Sprouts Salad
For the salad:
- 6 wonton wrappers
- 4 teaspoons avocado oil, divided
- 1 ½ cups brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup red cabbage
- 1 large carrot
- 1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon of thinly sliced shallot
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
For the vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons avocado or other vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Cut the wonton wrappers into ½" wide strips. Add them to a bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon of oil. Spread them in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 6-7 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Remove them from the baking sheet and let cool.
- Remove the parchment paper from the baking sheet and return the baking sheet to the hot oven until you are ready to cook the brussels sprouts.
- Add the brussels sprouts to a large bowl and toss them with 3 teaspoons of oil plus the salt and pepper. Spread them out in a single layer on the preheated baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes then remove from oven and add the garlic and shallots. Stir to mix everything together. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast for an additional 10 minutes or until the brussels are very browned and crisp.
- After the brussels are cooked, add them to a large mixing bowl. Add the cabbage, carrots and cilantro. Toss to combine. Add the dressing and toss again. Top with wonton strips and serve.
- The wonton strips can be made 1-2 days ahead. Once they have cooled completely you can store them in an air-tight container until you are ready to use them.